Papua New Guinea
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Tamiok Strike 23 exercise gets underway

A groundbreaking ceremony was had for the Tamiok Strike 2023 exercise, between the United States Army and the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.

Lieutenant Colonel John Wani, Commander of the Engineer Battalion in the PNGDF and Captain Samuel Gest, Commander of the 95th Engineer Company in the U.S. Army, addressed soldiers, sailors, marines, and partnered PNGDF soldiers during the event in Lae. The groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of joint construction operations and represents a milestone as the first iteration of Tamiok Strike with additional joint construction operations.

Tamiok Strike 23, aims to boost combined interoperability capabilities through training and cultural exchanges.

The inauguration took place at three key locations: Goldie River Training Depot in Port Moresby, Moem Barracks in Wewak, and Igam Barracks in Lae. Until July 29, approximately 90 U.S. participants and 150 PNGDF members will partake in various projects under the umbrella of Tamiok Strike 23.

As the third installment of bilateral exercises between the U.S and PNG, Tamiok Strike 23 seeks to foster regional peace and security while advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific. Focusing on stability operations tasks and engineer operations, the training aims to bolster the capabilities of the PNGDF.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Captain Gest emphasized the significance of the event, stating, "Today's groundbreaking ceremony is groundbreaking in two regards. First, we are literally breaking ground - improving our surroundings through construction efforts. Second, this marks the first time in Tamiok Strike history that we are jointly conducting construction operations, promising much potential between our two engineer forces."

The exercise also serves as a platform for community, professional, and cultural exchanges, further enhancing the partnership between the U.S. and PNGDF through shared learning and training opportunities. Expert academic exchanges and professional development workshops are organized to enhance stability operations tasks and engineer training at the company level and below.